Thursday, February 15, 2007

Overnight TV Ratings -- Woohoo! "Friday Night Lights" Hits Heights!

Hurrah! Facing the growing FOX hit "Bones" and the season finale of "Beauty and the Geek," (not to mention airing in its third different timeslot), "Friday Night Lights" scored its best numbers ever (including the debut) except for its successful one-time airing after the red-hot "Heroes." "FNL" hit 7.43 million viewers, better than the series debut of 7.18 million and edging closer to the 8+ million that watched it after "Heroes" (a better performance than the soon-to-be cancelled "Studio 60.") By the way, new drama "The Black Donnellys" is moving into "Studio 60's" timeslot a week early so "60" will go on hiatus one week sooner and NBC will avoid more low ratings during Feb sweeps. Meanwhile, the new episode of "Lost" hit a series low of 12+ million and got beat by "CSI." Yes, "Lost" had a weak lead-in. But so what. They actually think they can plan two more season? The best thing they could do creatively and ratings-wise would be to announce -- right away -- that next season would be their last. Viewers would probably be willing to commit again with the end in sight. I know I haven't been watching. Did I mention that "FNL" showed significant improvement against first-run shows? Things will be harder next week versus a new episode of "Jericho" rather than a clip job, but still. It's all about context, remember: 7+ million when you're kicking off the night can be great, especially when your audience is growing. 7+ million when you follow the hit "Heroes" and are losing more than half your audience and ratings are going lower is simply terrible.For a complete ratings breakdown, go to MediaWeek's Marc Berman.

8 p.m.
1. Bones -- 12.36 million viewers
2. Return Of 'Jericho' (special, clip job) -- 7.69 million million
3. Friday Night Lights -- 7.43 million
4. George Lopez -- 7.15 million/The Knights Of Prosperity -- 4.87 million
5. Beauty and the Geek (season finale) -- 4.21 million

9 p.m.
1. American Idol -- 28.54 million
2. Criminal Minds -- 15.4 million
3. Deal Or No Deal -- 9.6 million
4. Lost(r) -- 4.99 million
5. One Tree Hill -- 2.25 million

10 p.m.
1. CSI: NY -- 14.63 million
2. Lost -- 12.77 million
3. Medium -- 8.63 million


priv8pete said...

I say the series premiere of the Black Donnellys won't do very well since it has been available all over the place and Netflix has been pumping it hard on their website. Anyone who is seriously interested has seen it already and has no reason to sit through it again with commericals.

Michael in New York said...

That won't hurt the ratings. The people who will actually bother to watch a TV premiere episode in advance are avid TV watchers and influencers. If 50,000 people have taken advantage and watched it already -- NBC will be thrilled. That's like getting people to go to a sneak preview of a movie. NBC is presumably confident in the show and they believe all those people will talk it up to their friends. If the show does decently, it will draw 10 million people. That 50,000 or even 100,000 (highly unlikely) will just be proselytizers. Did you watch it? What did you think?